Monument for Nothing. Aida has often overturned the accepted wisdom, attitudes and customs that have been collectively and unconsciously shared by Japanese society, and graphically laid bare its taboos, complexities, real intentions and contradictions.
Monument for Nothing
About the Exhibition
For more than 20 years since his debut in the early 1990s, Aida Makoto has brought a critical perspective to such subjects as Japan, the United States, history, tradition, manga, war, salarymen, pretty young girls, art, and education system, touching upon contradictions in Japanese society, politics and economics during the period of modernization in the Meiji and subsequent periods followed by the rapid economic growth after the Second World War, as well as mass culture and the system surrounding visual art practice that emerged in the wake of these changes. In the course of his practice, Aida has often overturned the accepted wisdom, attitudes and customs that have been collectively and unconsciously shared by Japanese society, and graphically laid bare its taboos, complexities, real intentions and contradictions. For this reason, Aida has trodden a path all of his own, producing artwork that induces in viewers intense feelings of both discomfort and exhilaration.
Compared to other artists of his generation, critical response to Aida's artworks has been consistently favorable. He also continues to garner high levels of respect from the generation of artists below him. And yet he has never held a large-scale solo exhibition at a museum. In this show, we will present the entirety of his creative output. Through his artworks, Aida identifies and then places before us all manner of peculiarities within contemporary Japanese society ? social taboos, emasculated traditions and the coexistence of art and mass culture. To confront such issues through Aida's practice is one of the things needed most as we think about the future of this nation today.
Aida Makoto: Heisei Kanjin Project
In conjunction with Aida Makoto's solo exhibition, Aida Makoto: Monument for Nothing (Saturday, November 17, 2012–Sunday, March 31, 2013) the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo launches the "Aida Makoto: Heisei Kanjin Project," in which individual supporters will be invited to join in producing the exhibition. This project will operate as a new mode of exhibition funding that involves raising funds also from individuals of the public, rather than financing solely through the conventional means of corporate sponsorship.
During the medieval period in Japan, the custom of kanjin, or the soliciting of contributions for pious purposes, became increasingly widespread as a means of raising funds for the construction or repair of Buddhist temples, Buddhist images, shrines, and so on. Today, nearly a thousand years later, as seen in the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement in the U.S., for example, we are entering a new era where groups of like-minded individuals often connected via social media are bringing about changes in authoritarian regimes.
Aida Makoto is an artist who for some 20 years has been carefully observing the society in which he lives and exposing with a critical spirit and from a highly satirical point of view truths that are often hidden in our subconscious. However, due to the nature of his artwork, he is also an artist who, while rated highly, has been slow to receive public recognition internationally or in the form of large-scale solo exhibitions at museums. At the same time, he has over 10,000 followers on Twitter, indicating that his activities and attitude towards society have gained vociferous support. Aida Makoto, his first large-scale solo exhibition at an art museum, will present an overview of Aida's creative output, including several new works, as well as closely analyzing its social and art historical context.
To coincide with this exhibition, the Mori Art Museum launches the "Aida Makoto: Heisei Kanjin Project," in which people who endorse Aida's artistic activities as individuals will be asked to make financial contributions to help cover the cost of producing the exhibition. This method of asking a group of like-minded individuals to provide the kind of exhibition sponsorship usually requested of corporations and so on is a new initiative in terms of art museum fundraising. And, one could say that Aida Makoto is one artist who is truly suited to the implementation of such an initiative.
Supporters / participants will share progress reports on Aida Makoto's latest work, and join with the Museum to put the exhibition together. This includes taking part in special Aida Makoto: Monument for Nothing exhibition-related events. We urge exhibition-goers to consider going a step further and supporting a particular artist they would like to see succeed by participating in the "Aida Makoto: Heisei Kanjin Project." In this way, we can all work together to ensure the exhibition is a roaring success.
Aida Makoto (artist)
Born on October 4, 1965 in Niigata Prefecture. Completed the Graduate Course at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts in 1991. Extensive participation in national and international exhibitions centered on the solo exhibition at the Mizuma Art Gallery. Primary exhibitions include: "Roppongi Crossing: New Visions in Contemporary Japanese Art" (Mori Art Museum, 2004), "The First Singapore Biennale: BELIEF" (Singapore, 2006), "All About Laughter: Humor in Contemporary Art (Mori Art Museum, 2007)," "Bye Bye Kitty!!! - Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art" (Japan Society, New York, 2011).
Image: A Picture of an Air Raid on New York City （War Picture Returns), 1996. Six-panel sliding screens, hinges, Nihon Keizai Shinbun, black-and-white photocopy on hologram paper, charcoal pencil, watercolor, acrylic, magic marker, correction liquid, pencil, etc., 169×378cm. TAKAHASHI collection, Tokyo. Courtesy: Mizuma Art Gallery
Ms.Tamura, Ms. Li, Mr. Watanabe Public Relations, Ms. Shinya - Mori Art Museum
Tel: +81-3-6406-6111 Fax: +81-3-6406-9351 E-mail: email@example.com
Mori Art Museum
Roppongi Hills Mori Tower (53f)
6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-Ku, Tokyo